Editor Interview: Touch: The Journal of Healing

This interview is provided for archival purposes. The listing is not currently active.

Q: Describe what you publish in 25 characters or less.

A: The touch of humanity.

Q: What other current publications (or publishers) do you admire most?

A: Daniel Milbo, Autumn Sky Poetry & Christine Klocek-Lim, The Externalist & Larina Warnock, Bellevue Literary Review, The Reader's Digest, Tilt Press & Rachel Mallino, 3 Quarks Daily, Philadelphia Poets Journal & Rosemary Cappello, Umbrella & Kate Bernadette Benedict, The Barefoot Muse & Anna Evans, OCHO, and there are others.

Q: If you publish writing, who are your favorite writers? If you publish art, who are your favorite artists?

A: Daniel Milbo, Christine Klocek-Lim, Larina Warnock, Vinita Agrawal, Murray Alfredson, Judith Bader Jones, Maria Basile, Ed Bennett, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Stephen Bunch, Frank Cavano, Sharon Charde, Mary Susan Clemons, Bebe Cook, Maril Crabtree, Stacey Dye, T. S. Eliot, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Sharon Erby, Luke Evans, Robert Frost, Dennis Greene, Tina Hacker, M.E. Hope, Jodi L. Hottel, Sally Houtman, Rudyard Kipling, Dorianne Laux, D.H. Lawrence, Laura Levesque, Annmarie Lockhart, Denise Low, Jeanie McLeod, Donal Mahoney, Linda K. Marshall, Michael T. Milbocker, Esther Greenleaf Mürer, Sherry O’Keefe, Sergio Antonio Ortiz, Gregory W. Randall, Catherine A. Rogers, Mariejoy A. San Buenaventura, Theresa Senato Edwards, Scot Siegel, William Shakespeare, Pat St. Pierre, Mark Strand, Arti Subramanian, Janet Sunderland, Alarie Tennille, Dylan Thomas, Elaina Turpin, Kathleen Twohig Smith, Christian Ward, Colin Ward, Walt Whitman, Yvette Wiley, James S. Wilk, Gary Charles Wilkins, Toni L. Wilkes, William Carlos Williams, W.B. Yeats, and more.

Q: What sets your publication apart from others that publish similar material?

A: Two editors independently read each submission blind. Each submission is evaluated for its use of language and literary devices, content (in relation to the theme of our journal), and originality. Each submission is discussed at length with careful consideration given to how well it would build up the body of work in each of our journal issues.
We are very open to new and unpublished writers, and we strive to give concrete feedback on the pieces we decline for publication. We also encourage writers to revise and hone pieces we feel have potential, but are not quite ready for publication. If we feel a piece should be published in a journal other than our own, we explain to the author why it didn't work for our journal, and we encourage them to submit it elsewhere.
Each literary piece we publish online appears on a separate web page along side a complete Table of Contents for ease in navigating each issue. Each journal issue is also published in print.

Q: What is the best advice you can give people who are considering submitting work to your publication?

A: Proofread your submission.
Have someone else proofread your submission.
Check your spelling.
Please, please, please, read our submission guidelines and follow them.
Please read some of our prior issues before you submit to us to form an impression of the kind of work we publish.
Please don't tell us in your introductory paragraph that you just wrote the piece you're submitting that morning.
Please, please, please, read our submission guidelines and follow them.
Please don't send us work with the intention of receiving a in-depth critique of the work or with the expectation we will edit your work.
Please do not send us titles in all upper case fonts.
Please, please, please, read our submission guidelines and follow them.
Please do not send us work printed in any color other than black.
Please do not send us work which is centered or right justified to the page.
Have someone else proofread your submission.
Please, please, please, read our submission guidelines and follow them.
Proofread your submission.

Q: Describe the ideal submission.

A: One which includes an introductory paragraph which explains why the author feels the piece is perfect for our journal (and reveals the author has read other works we have published; a brief (50 words maximum) biographical note; the maximum number of submissions for the category being submitted to (but no more); and one which follows our submission guidelines.

Q: What do submitters most often get wrong about your submissions process?

A: They follow advice other than what I have offered above.
They follow submission guidelines other than our own.
They send submissions to the incorrect editor email address.

Q: How much do you want to know about the person submitting to you?

A: We wish to learn about the author only the information which is pertinent to the work they are submitting.

Q: If you publish writing, how much of a piece do you read before making the decision to reject it?

A: We read every word in 99% of the cases. On rare occasions, when a piece is filled with so many typographical and spelling errors it becomes unreadable, we stop reading. On even rarer occasions, we stop reading when a piece is unable to convey a perceptible message, thought, idea, or conclusion.

Q: What additional evaluations, if any, does a piece go through before it is accepted?

A: We meet on a weekly basis to discuss the submissions which have come in. We often reread pieces several times when we feel there is more to a piece than a first read will give us.
Because each submitted piece is discussed at length on a weekly basis, we usually have a pretty good idea whether it is right for our journal, however, there are also times when we will hold a piece for several weeks before we will return to it for a final decision.
If we feel a piece could work for our journal, we may hold it for more than a month to determine whether it might compliment or be complimented by other pieces which come in.

Q: What is a day in the life of an editor like for you?

A: I enter submissions into our review queue as we receive them. I send an acknowledgment email to the author usually within 24 hours of receipt.
I read submissions on a daily basis, usually in the evening, several days after they have been received to ensure author anonymity. The assistant editor reads all the submissions which have come in during the prior week before our weekly submission review meeting.
Because we are also the editors of a small print press which publishes individual author poetry and prose chapbooks, and print copies of our journal, acceptance and declination emails for our journal are sent to authors usually within one week of our decision.

Q: How important do you feel it is for publishers to embrace modern technologies?

A: I think it is very important, but I also believe we should embrace and respect the technologies and publishing methods used in the past. Daniel Milbo, our assistant editor's academic coursework surveyed the historical development of medieval manuscripts, as well as codicology and the evolution of inks, and has left him with a passion for the craft of bookmaking as an art form. He also has a broad range of experience in graphic design, literary editing, and web publishing. I took this all to heart when we decided to move forward in establishing our print press. I believe Daniel's passion for the publishing methods from antiquity has influenced and served not only to enhance the look and feel of our publications, but it has also given us an extremely broad foundation to build from.
I have a great affinity for the feel of a printed book of poetry. The one thing an online journal cannot offer is the experience of holding the printed word in your hands.  There is something special about the texture of a page as it slides between your fingers or the sound it makes as it is turned.  There is something special about the smell of a book, and the appearance of words when they are printed on paper.  These things just can’t be duplicated with a computer screen.
Blogs, social networking, electronic publishing, advertising and marketing are all important factors for an editor to explore and use, and they can only serve to enhance the distribution of literary works both in print and through the internet.
Our entire publishing process is integrated through the use of state-of-the-art technology, though our print publications are manufactured by hand.